Burn Ban 2012

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 29, 2012

Burn ban for all ‘til some raindrops fall

With little chance of rain in the forecast and extremely dry conditions, Panola County has been placed under a burn ban. The ban is in effect both in the county and municipalities.

Panola EMA?Director Daniel Cole reported Panola supervisors requested the ban during a meeting June 26. The ban was approved by the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

“It is earlier than usual, typically we get more rain in May and June,” Cole said this week.

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“But our departments across the county have already been busy with grass fires,” he explained.

The ban is set to expire July 9, but will be extended if the county does not receive substantial rainfall.
Cole said neighboring counties are also in the process of implementing similar restrictions.

“The closer you get to the state line, the dryer it gets,” the EMA?Director added.

Currently the county’s ban does not include fireworks – a matter that could be addressed next week during the “first Monday” supervisor meeting in Sardis.

“People don’t think about it, but if fireworks land in tall grass they can easily ignite a fire,”?Cole said.

In Sardis and Como, fireworks have been included in the burn ban, according to the local fire chiefs.

“I know it is not the best time, but the ban does include fireworks,”?Sardis Fire Chief Chuck Moore said. “As dry as it is, fireworks can easily ignite a fire,”?Moore said.

And like other departments in the county, Sardis volunteers have also been busy with grass fires.

“We have responded to nine grass fires this week and it is only Wednesday,”?Moore said.

The fires ranged from unattended burning to roadside fires likely ignited by a cigarette butt or spark from a flat tire.

Como Fire Chief Randy Perkins reiterated Moore’s concern.

“Each week as it gets dryer, we are seeing increased number of fires,” Perkins said. Controlled burns that got out of hand have been a factor in a number of fires the Como department has answered.

“Como has a fire permitting system and we won’t be issuing any permits,” he explained.

With the increased number of calls, Moore also sent a request for more manpower.

“We are trying to recruit some volunteers. I have about five openings I am trying to fill. If you are between 18 and 65 and have a driver’s license, we are interested,” Moore said.

To volunteer, contact any fireman or go by Sardis City Hall and pick up an application.